When setting up an online retail business, it’s important to make sure that your website, back-end and processes all run smoothly. It’s vital to make sure that everything is as efficient as possible, to maximise profit and make your business a success.
Keep your website functional
It may be tempting to try and make your website as attractive as possible, adding colour, sound and video. However, using all of these elements can not only make your online store distracting but can affect your website’s functionality.
The more advanced tricks you choose to include, the slower your website will run. Your main focus should be the product or service that you’re offering, so keep it simple. Stick to a simple colour palette, with fonts that are easy to read and clear pictures.
Run an efficient payment process
To maximise your sales, make your payment process as simple as possible. Try to keep the number of steps to a minimum, and use a shopping cart and payment gateway that are clear and concise. Consider including user accounts, payment detail storage and automated reminder emails.
Get your business noticed online
When running an online retail business, it’s not enough to have a functional and attractive website. If potential customers don’t know that your website exists, you won’t make any sales. In such a crowded online marketplace, getting noticed online can seem impossible, but you can get more website visits and increase sales using a few simple tactics.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Online gurus often mention how critical search engine optimisation is to boost your website’s reach. However, their charges for making your website a hit can run into thousands of pounds. Don’t despair, as there are some simple DIY search engine optimisation actions you can put into place.
When creating pages and adding products to your website, make sure to use popular phrases that are regularly searched for. You can use free online tools, such as Google Adwords, to discover popular keywords that are relevant to your business. Use these keywords in page headings, product descriptions and when uploading images to the website.
Use social media
Maintaining active social media accounts can help you to expand the reach of your online retail business. Refrain from posting only about your products and services, as this can come across too pushy. Consumers choose to follow accounts that offer them some value, whether that be tips and tricks, entertainment or relevant news.
Allocating a small amount of your budget to advertising on social media allows you to display your products to a wider audience. Starting with a budget of just a few pounds per day, you can create enticing adverts featuring attractive images or videos.
You’re able to choose who these adverts are shown to, targeting your tried and tested customer bases. You can even choose to retarget people who have already visited your website, reminding them about your products or services!
Thanks to the rise of social media and blogging, new ways to advertise products and services are available. Running a blog and using social media used to be a personal endeavour, but both of these can now be a full-time job. Bloggers and influencers can have millions of followers, who are interested in what products and services they are using. When they promote something there is often a huge spike in sales, which is a perfect opportunity for online business owners to get noticed.
Some bloggers and influencers will charge to promote something, however, some are willing to test and carry out honest reviews of things that they are sent. If you are confident about your product and have a lower budget, search out bloggers and influencers in your niche and ask if they’d like to review it. If there is a popular influencer or blogger in your niche, it may be worth an investment.
Stay on top of your finances
When running an online retail business, making sure that you completely understand your finances is vital. If you’re not sure how much you’re spending, you’ll have no clue if you’re actually running a successful and profitable company. Enlisting the help of dedicated accountants and business advisers can help you to maximise your profit. Their expert advice is invaluable for every online retail business, however hiring multiple experts to guide you can be costly.
Virgate Accounts offer an outsourced finance solution to help online retail businesses succeed. Whether it’s specialised business advice, carrying out accurate daily bookkeeping or producing year end accounts, Virgate Accounts make running an online retail business simple.